Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We Finally Meet

It's kind of crazy how God chooses to weave friendships together.

I think a lot of people think the idea of "friend I've never met in real life" or "friend I met online" is a little sketchy or weird. For sure it's becoming a lot more normal in our generation...but it seems like there's still something about it that makes people raise an eyebrow. Still, slightly sheepish as even I feel about it, I've met some amazing women through blogging and through a message board, and I'm thankful for the ways that our paths have crossed and the interactions I've had with them.

What's unique about this particular "internet-friendship" is that we easily could have known each other in real life. In fact, it's strange that we didn't.

Kristin and I were at Indiana Wesleyan University together from 2000-2003 (she graduated a year before I did). It's not a big school to begin with--about 2200 students on campus at the time. Still, reasonable to think we'd never met. Surprising, though, when you consider that we had several mutual friends. More surprising still when we realized we'd been in the Honors College together--a group of only 100 students, and we certainly sat just a few feet apart in meetings several times.

Yet for whatever reason, it wasn't until three years ago that our lives intersected. Somehow, probably through a mutual friend's blog, Kristin ran across my blog. She started reading, and realized how much we now had in common. And then she followed an impulse that she says was totally uncharacteristic for her, but for which I am endlessly grateful: she sent me a long email introducing herself and sharing some of our commonalities.

It was fun to hear from her, and that began the casual, occasional exchange of a few emails. Then we went through childbirth and the difficult adjustment to motherhood together (her son is just two weeks younger than Elijah). Our friendship deepened, and the emails increased in frequency. We developed the kind of closeness that often, strangely, only comes through a long-distance friendship, when you can do nothing together except talk a lot, and you feel safe sharing deep parts of your heart while you sit in front of a computer screen.

We said several times that we hoped we'd get to meet in person someday. And then this spring, Kristin's sweet husband gave us the gift of a plane ticket for her to come visit me!

It was so much fun to greet her and her adorable baby daughter at the airport, then spend the next two and a half days talking pretty much nonstop. We had so many unfinished email conversations (topics you don't feel like taking the time to type all your thoughts on) to get back to, so many background/history details to fill in. And we enjoyed laughing together, eating cookie dough ice cream, picking strawberries, exploring Nashville and watching our kids interact (when Elijah wasn't trying to take Sarah's toys away...).

I'm so glad Kristin wrote that email out of the blue three years ago! She is a beautiful woman of God, inside and out, and spending time with her in person was truly a gift. I have been so blessed by her challenging questions, her humble and honest example, and the gospel encouragement she provides. This is a friend who loves the Savior and who inspires me to follow hard after Him--the best kind of friend.


Sarah said...

What a sweet friendship you have with her. Truly something to treasure!

jennymarie1981 said...

How sweet! I can't believe you guys didn't meet in college! I think I must have had the majority of my classes with one of the two of you (but obviously not with the two of you together :) Yes I can totally see how you have kindred spirits and all the accolades you poured out on her apply to you as well.

Kristin said...

I, too, am so blessed to call you friend! What a gift to have been able to finally meet this past weekend. As I was telling Luke about it, I told him that it didn't ever feel like we were meeting, for you seemed so familiar. I am grateful for the way God has used your friendship in my life to broaden my view of Him and the gospel. Now you need to come my way to meet my family!

Danielle said...

How fun!!

Kelly said...

LOVE it! :)

PS. You're in the beautiful, "glowing" stage.

Unknown said...

How awesome!! I can totally relate to this as I have made some very close friends though the internet as well. And have been blessed to meet a couple of them in person too! You are right, its not like meeting for the first time, its like you are just connecting to catch up! :)

Jess said...

I, too, am amazed you never met. But I can totally understand how Kristin would challenge you to a deeper place with God. She has continually done the same for me over the years. I'm glad you finally got to meet. What a great story!

admin said...

Hey Amy! I KNOW Kristin too!! We grew up together- we went to summer camp in Maine and Canada. Then we were at IWU together too!That is so crazy! Hey, Kristin! :)